Aman arrived from somewhere on the planet. He arrived at my door with his bag and clothes soaked with rain. The clouds behind him was dark and torrential, it seemed to usher him in to our house.
My husband approached from behind me. He is Indian and is a most welcoming man but when he found the sores in this man’s neck and arms, he stopped in his tracks eyeing the man, nudging me not to let the stranger in. I had to explain he is a friend from a previous relationship.
The clouds thundered and clipped lightning. My husband naked from waist up wearing nothing but a dhoti felt his mortality challenged by this odd man whose spectacles was wet with the clouds remaining within the rim of his glasses.
I gently pulled and embraced Aman. He is an Arab bisexual who had been a musical genius since he was a child and was in fact considered a national prodigy by his country in the field of musical composition. We had separated when I realized he was not going to change. I found love again in Arun who knew this man from stories I told him about my past. Aman entered our door and along with it the hiss and howl of the clouds. He was filled with clouds of rain pelting our corrugated iron rooftop.
Aman was shivering and I found a blanket to wrap him up before fixing him a bath in the second-floor bathroom where Arun confronted me about Aman
“Nilda, you cannot let this man in the house, the children will be back from their grandmother in a few minutes now. He might frighten them, he might ---”
“What, contaminate them?” He could see the clouds in my eyes now. The clouds followed us ominously through the small window of the bathroom.
The clouds hissed and boiled like a mad ceiling of the skies dredging its inner worries to the valley which soaked it all up with the innocence that only land and sky could understand in perfect synchronicity like the yin and yang of nature.
I went back to Aman who sat shivering in the sofa of our living room. I led him slowly to his warm bath where I gently uncloaked him of the blanket and turned my back for him to remove his clothes. Unexpectedly, I caught a glimpse of his skeletal body riddled with sores on his back, along with the shimmer of clouds with its almost silver patina reflecting both man and clouds on the window pane.
There was rumor of a storm in the electric air.
I left him for awhile and prepared food for him in the kitchen.
Arun helped cut the carrots for a warm stew.
I watched the clouds crowding through the kitchen window and found Aman walking naked beneath them. He screamed and stretched his arms against the blades of rain from the clouds. Arun rushed with a blanket to bring him in, again.
I remember Aman, my Jordanian lover.
I was working as production assistant and he walked towards me and stroked my fine, olive Filipina skin. This was during the hours of practice of his ensemble for a movie production. He walked over the wires and said he found me beautiful.
I had never felt so flattered in my entire life. In my country, I was ordinary and yet this man, this virtuoso was complimenting me in front of everyone and making everything halt. Also, he asked me out on a date.
Nilda, he whispered intimately into my ear as the restaurant already darkened and closed.
We watched musical renditions of acrobatic acts of twisting human torsos about each other in a manner not unlike those making love in the air.
We watched sunsets over craggy rocks and found the City of Jordan breathtaking. But he also disclosed that he was a bisexual and I thought I could change him, that he was so smitten by my beauty and that alone I could complete his desire.
He was a very skilled lover, teasing every rivulet of sweat of my body and smelling every nook and cranny of it. He was mad, I thought, because he relished my deepest pleasures which lay dormant beneath my consciousness.
There were days when he would crave for a male lover and he would play a sad tune on his violin while at the edge of the bed. Ofcourse, it wasn’t allowed in Jordan so he would travel to Thailand and find ladyboys. But he would always come back to me, in the apartment I kept over a hill in Jordan. There were times I felt so frustrated when he would weep in moments of desire for a man. I would embrace his back and weep with him too.
They say, he could handle a violin at the age of five and rendered classical music which the government was not indifferent to. Thus, he was wrenched away from his family and developed to be the musical genius he was today. But he lived in perpetual animosity after each gut-wrenching performance he made and the long hours he gave to making music.
Finally, he travelled to the West and found lovers and made love to them indiscriminately. I had to run away from his madness or I was to go mad myself.
His chemical treatments made him vomit and I had to hold his forehead back as he let out every food he ate in the toilet bowl. Finally, he was reduced to an emaciated man going about our house wheeling a tall hooked ivy pinned to his arm. And then he just stayed in our guest room, looking over the valley my husband and I cultivated.
He watched the roiling clouds fuse with the tints of the colors of the sun and the stars. I could only watch him degenerate like clouds dissipating to reveal the inner skin of the night and stars. I was his prodigy and I still loved him. He was my ascetic genius no matter what he had done. He had given in to his music his whole life, I knew that much.
The musician and the music, are one, til death do they part.